Updated on 2/1/23
Rebuilding relationships after substance use treatment is crucial to maintain sobriety; however, it takes time and effort to restore communication and trust. It is important to understand that some loved ones are not ready to move forward, but attending support meetings can help to provide valuable reassurance. It is also important to prioritize your own health and recovery, so you should not feel pressure to repair relationships that may not be healthy.
Making it through treatment is an incredible accomplishment and among the earliest milestones you will reach on your journey to recovery. However, because recovery is a lifelong journey, it will take time to restore balance to your life. Certainly, while in the throes of your substance use, you likely underwent many profound personality changes. These changes might have negatively affected your ability to manage your relationships properly.
Repairing relationships and reconnecting following treatment is a crucial part of your strategy for maintaining sobriety. Doing so will cultivate a life worth living. It is not easy, and some individuals believe that rebuilding relationships is among the most challenging things you will do in recovery. However, the same individuals ultimately deem it as one of the best things. Let’s explore some ways that you can prepare and plan when rebuilding relationships following treatment.
Repairing a relationship depends on the kind of relationship. You might need to repair friendships, marriage or relationships with your children. No matter what kind of bond, some commonalities exist within each, and that commonality is trust. Trust is always the root of what creates a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, it is a lot easier to break trust than it is to restore it. To repair trust, you need to be willing to put in the time it takes to nurture trust.
Think about each relationship and why trust deteriorated. Did you fail to show up for people? Did you break promises? While it’s not easy, learning how you might have broken trust will help you focus on things you can do to restore it. You can start by keeping appointments and promises with yourself and others. Doing so will build confidence within. Soon, you will understand that you can come through for yourself and others, and it will project to others that you are taking recovery seriously.
Communicate Your Feelings
Beyond actions, you can also demonstrate your commitment to rebuilding trust by communicating freely about your feelings. Of course, you should disclose as much as you feel comfortable with; however, being open to others does eliminate the idea that you might be withholding information from your loved ones. Therefore, talking with loved ones will help keep them from doubting your intentions. Working on this trait can be especially beneficial within marriages.
Prepare for Some Push-Back
While you might be ready to move forward in your relationship, others may not be. Therefore it is essential to understand that you are unable to control other people’s feelings and emotions. They have not had the same healing as you did while in treatment, nor did they acquire the same tools to help them manage their feelings. Just as you had time to process things, they will need time too.
It is important not to expect an immediate change in the attitudes or perceptions of some of your loved ones. They might meet your efforts with hesitation or resistance, but you should stay hopeful. It is also important to understand that you may not be able to salvage every relationship you have. You might each decide that both of you are better off without being in each other’s lives. Understand that even family members can be a detriment to your recovery and life. Therefore, do not place extra pressure on yourself to repair a relationship just because they are family.
Attend Support Meetings
Finding support with other peers that share your experiences is vital. You might encounter stress and frustration from trying to rebuild relationships with other friends and family members because they don’t really understand what you are going through. Getting support and advice from others in recovery can go a long way toward keeping you on track.
The first few months following treatment are the times where you are most likely to relapse. Some reports estimate that relapse rates for people with SUDs fall between 40 and 60%. Therefore, meetings can really help you. They can also reassure friends and family that you are committed to your sobriety.
Before reaching out to make amends with loved ones, it is important to make sure you are ready. Attending support groups, meetings and other 12-step programs will also make sure that your health and recovery are the priority. It is also comforting knowing that you will always have support from peers when situations become challenging with friends and family. Often, the friendships you make during meetings become lifelong. They will also help you maintain sobriety and even present opportunities for both personal and professional growth.
It can be extremely difficult; however, reconnecting with loved ones is essential in the journey of recovery. It all starts with rebuilding a healthy relationship with yourself. At New Hope Ranch, we offer resources to finding a 12-step program in Texas and other aftercare programs. Our goal is to connect you with the recovery community. For more information on how to successfully rebuild the relationships in your life, reach out to New Hope Ranch today and call us at (737) 600-8565.